New York City Children’s Theater is currently running a Kickstarter campaign to help fund our Literature at Play workshops in homeless shelters. But what is Literature at Play and how does it benefit children across New York City?

What is Literature at Play?

Literature at Play is New York City Children’s Theater’s signature education program that uses theater and songwriting activities to support and enhance children’s writing, reading, and language skills. Over the course of four or more weekly sessions, teaching artists lead elementary school-aged children through acting, playwriting and songwriting workshops, resulting in the adaptation of a children’s book into a musical!

Sample lyrics kids created this fall:

It’s important to be kind.
Being a good listener is kind.
Sharing your food is kind.
Sticking up for others is kind.
Speaking with respect is kind.

What are the Benefits?

The benefits of Literature at Play include:

  • Reinforcing students’ language and literacy skills through theatre and songwriting
  • Expanding students’ writing abilities with an emphasis on strengthening literary elements, dialogue, expressive or descriptive language
  • Increasing reading comprehension skills, such as sequencing, making predictions and text-to-self

During the program students learn:

  • To write a play with a clear beginning, middle and end
  • To understand the elements of a well-written play (i.e. inciting incident, conflict, resolution, action, high stakes, low stakes)
  • To understand characters’ motivations and express dialogue with appropriate emotion
  • To speak/sing in front of a group, demonstrated through greater risk-taking, projection and articulation

Support powerful arts programming for children in need.

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